LOOKING AHEAD

As disappointed as they are about what happened Monday night, the Dolphins are refusing to give up on this season. Rather, their focus is solely on Sunday's game at Buffalo.

"The last couple of days were tough on me," said defensive end Adewale Ogunleye. "Today, I have a lot more optimism in me."

The Dolphins certainly are not out of the playoff race, but they will need help in the form of Denver losing its last two games, at Indianapolis and at Green Bay.

That clearly can happen, but then the Dolphins wold have to sweep their last two, Sunday against the Bills and Dec. 28 at home against the rival New York Jets.

"The guys know what's at stake and we're ready to step up to the challenge," said defensive tackle Larry Chester. "We can wallow in misery or we can put it behind us."

Chester was referring to the 34-27 loss to the Eagles that has put the Dolphins on the brink of elimination.

The Buffalo Bills, Sunday's opponent, already have been eliminated from postseason consideration, but the Bills are looking to at least finish at .500.

They're also shooting to have their defense, currently second in the NFL behind Dallas, wind up as the highest-ranked unit in the league.

It obviously won't be an easy game for the Dolphins, but they are now literally in a must-win situation.


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